AND IT'S TIME FOR SOMETHING ELSE.................
On May 14, 2010, when I hit "publish" for the first time and began Gains and Losses: Life Through Sharon's Eyes, I had no idea what to expect or how long it would last. I had no idea what a "follower" was or what it meant to leave a comment on someone else's blog or receive one on mine. I laughingly acknowledge that when my first comment appeared, it scared me to death. I was certain I was exposed to the entire World Wide Web and everyone was reading my private thoughts about my weight and fitness journey! But I learned quickly!
One follower became two and before I knew it, it was ten. And almost immediately, an idea was born in the back of my mind as a way to combine my passions for health/fitness/weight loss with travel/hiking/RVing. Even as a little girl, I always had a desire to know people from around the USA and anywhere else. I loved seeing how people in different cultures lived whether it be the vastly different areas of the US or any other country! Where other girls my age had pictures of teen heartthrobs adorning the walls of their rooms, I HAD MAPS. All kinds of maps! And all of a sudden, I realized that maybe, just maybe, this blog could be a means to help me achieve that little girl's goal of "knowing" someone in every state!
BUT HOW WOULD I DO THAT?
At that point, I was still very much a new Blogger, but had already sensed that in some realms of BlogLand, it was always about "how many followers do I have" and "how can I get more?" For me, that took away TOTALLY the joy of knowing someone CHOSE to become a follower simply because they read the content, liked it and wanted to read more or be notified automatically when a new post was published. Even though the idea of trying to find a friend in every state was born from my own passion for travel, I was always afraid that it would APPEAR as just a way for a new blogger to solicit followers.
IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THAT AND STILL ISN'T!
Two years, 225 posts, 120+ followers and a lot of Blogger meet-ups later, I'm ready to revisit the goal. See, Ramblin' Rose's RAV4 told me she would take care of me and she was made to ride. Mr. B likes when I roadtrip because he's knows that's when I'm really just happy being ME! (I'm certain it has nothing to do with how tidy everything stays when I'm gone!)
So it's time to reset the goal of having a friend in every state and anywhere beyond. This Blog can help me achieve that goal with the secondary goal of traveling to as many of those states and meeting as many other bloggers as I possibly can over the next few years. (One of these days, I'll convince Mr. B that retirement really is better than having a job! Sure will love having him traveling with me all the time. Someday.......)
HERE'S HOW TO HELP ME WITH MY GOAL!
I'm adding a new tab to the top of the blog titled, "A Friend in Every State........" Although I know where most of those who read live, to avoid my own confusion on keeping the page accurate and up-to-date, I'm starting from scratch.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING ME IN WHAT STATE (Territory, Province, Country,etc.) YOU LIVE AND IF COMFORTABLE, YOUR CITY/TOWN. BY ASKING YOU TO LEAVE A COMMENT, I HAVE AN ACCURATE LINK TO YOUR BLOG WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.
As YOU let me know in which state (territory, province, country) you live, I will update the page changing from red letters to black and updating number of friends in that state by parenthesis. I will be maintaining a separate (totally PRIVATE) Excel Spreadsheet on my computer (see below) with your city and blog title.
I hope to make this fun for you also! Help me find friends in the states I'm missing and enjoy visiting the page yourself to see who I lack. A secondary goal is finding lots of new blogs for all of us to read and offer encouragement. As mentioned in my last post here, I am in the process of combining my travel blog with this one in hopes that it will free more time to concentrate on this blog and new friends it may bring!
A FEW MORE IMPORTANT THINGS......................
1) YOUR PRIVACY is of utmost importance to me and I will always respect that. I'm aware that some of you carefully guard any information about where you live and I understand. There will be NO information on the page which gives any specific information about anyone. My separate Excel Spreadsheet is for me and me alone. If you don't want anyone to know your state, but don't mind ME knowing, instead of leaving it as a comment, send me a separate email. At some point down the road, it is possible I might add links (and only links) to your blogs, in the hopes that YOU might find new blogs to enjoy or readers in your own state. But I would ask permission before even doing that.
2) This one I've thought about for a long, long time and I have decided that for me to include your state, I do want you to be an official follower of this blog. I will reciprocate if I haven't already and taking that step seems to indicate somewhat of a commitment to mutual readership and friendship. So if you aren't already a follower, please take that step.
3) Again, I'm starting from scratch, so even if you KNOW I'm well aware of where you are, please leave me a comment (or send an email) telling me what state, etc. you are in and ONLY IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE DOING SO, tell me what city/town. Once again, the city/town will NOT go on the page - only on my personal spreadsheet that will never be published anywhere!
I'm excited to see where this goes and excited about the future of Gains and Losses as it soon begins it's third year. I'm afraid to voice the thought, but I'm getting closer and closer to goal. Don't think I'll make it by May14, but I'll be very, very close!
What an exciting time it is for me. Thank you so much for your encouragement, your support, your loyalty and most of all, your friendship! Oh, and BTW, I guess the idea of visiting all of you in my new RAV4 is probably not very practical, but a girl can dream, can't she??